This is a tune Pete Townshend wrote for the Who to play at Live Aid. It didn't happen but Roger ended up recording it.
This live version features the genuinely awesome David Gilmour on lead guitar:
If you believe some right-wing pundits, the Romneymentum keeps on keeping on. Those of us in the reality based community know that while the popular vote will be closer that it should be, Willard peaked 2 weeks ago, which means:
There is only a 16.3% chance of electing our first robot President.
Maybe the Mittbot should challenge Barack to a game of Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots:
Polling shows the race remains a toss-up heading into the final days. But Romney still has the tougher path; he must win more of the nine most-contested states to reach 270 electoral votes: Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin, Iowa and New Hampshire.
So it's a toss-up, except for the insurmountable odds Romney faces. Good to know.
Friday also offered an economic finale to the campaign with the release of October jobs reports that contained better than average economic news but gave both campaigns a talking point.
They both had a talking point! Oh my God, you guys! There's no way of knowing who was right about what the jobs report meant, because they both had talking points!
In crucial early voting, Obama holds an apparent lead over Romney in key states. But Obama's advantage isn't as big as the one he had over John McCain four years ago, giving Romney hope that he could make up that gap in Tuesday's election.
In all nine states? But hey, the TWO AP reporters it took to write this fact-free pile of nonsense aren't actually saying Romney could make up that gap, only that he's been given hope. He can hope for stuff now. I'm sure he's relieved to hear it.
The real reason all these people are so fucking pissed off at Nate Silver is he's taken away their ability to put out shit like this and call it journalism of any kind.
What was your favorite childhood game?
My little brother and cousins and I used to play Hungry Hungry Hippos for HOURS until my mother finally snapped and demanded we take the noisy plastic/marbles game outside or it was going in the trash compactor.
Okay, so maybe I'm doing this bit too often, but it's just comedy gold.
Once again, a cousin posted something stupid, and I did this idiotic thing called "responding with facts." Naturally, things only got better from there.
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
It's pretty awesome, and you can see the beating after the jump.
Nate Silver has been taking a lot of unfair shit from wingnuts, and even the public busy body editor at the New York Times. It mostly involves people who dislike the conclusions that his statistical method comes up with. Hell, I didn't like his predictions for 2010 but he was right. I'm pretty sure Nate will be collecting that bet money from a certain MSNBC morning show host; that is, if Joe Scarborough is, uh, fair...
On to today's outlook:
Now if it were the robot from Lost In Space, Obama might be in trouble:
The residents of Staten Island are pleading for help from elected officials, begging for gasoline, food and clothing three days after Sandy slammed the New York City borough.
“We’re going to die! We’re going to freeze! We got 90-year-old people!” Donna Solli told visiting officials. “You don’t understand. You gotta get your trucks down here on the corner now. It’s been three days!”
Staten Island was one of the hardest-hit communities in New York City. More than 80,000 residents are still without power. Many are homeless, and at least 19 people died on Staten Island because of the storm.
One of the devastated neighborhoods was overwhelmed by a violent surge of water. Residents described a super-sized wave as high as 20 feet, with water rushing into the streets like rapids.
Staten Island resident Mike Abuzzio’s home is completely gone, with only his floor boards remaining. He, his wife and their two young daughters have been staying with relatives.
“My youngest daughter yesterday said, ‘Daddy, I want to go,’” Abuzzio told ABC News. “I told her, ‘It’s going to be awhile, hon.’ She doesn’t understand. She’s 6.”
Hopefully the past few days have put paid to the idea that government is evil and must be shrunk down to nothing so that "we" can afford ... I don't know, other stuff? Non-government things? Drones? A fucking marathon (are you kidding me with this)? Another party for rich people? When people call for aid, who do you think responds? The national fucking guard, the city and state and national agencies, so you starve them, and the cries for help go unanswered.
It keeps happening, and we keep doing every fucking thing we can do to avoid learning.
The end of election season is mercifully arriving this week. Politicians can stop showing up at college campuses and pretending they know where the hell they are. Special interest groups can stop running ads that tell you everything from how Mitt Romney once ate a small child that was birthed from one of his sister-wives to the way Barack Obama is preparing to launch a “Brown Dawn” attack on us with his Negro Army.
And, most thankfully, the pollsters can stop calling the house to make absolutely, positively sure that we haven’t changed our mind on Romney, Obama or a federal proposition to allow for Jerry Sandusky to write a children’s book from prison.
For those of you who have made it this far without pulling an “Elvis” on your TV set or pulling an “Axl” on your phone, congratulations. However, if you feel a little of either creeping in on you, here are a few survival tips as we wait for the glorious end to this inglorious process:
Tell everyone who calls that you're not supporting a candidate who isn't making a full and total commitment to bringing back disco and velour shirts.
When you see a guy sporting a “I support the Second Amendment and I VOTE!” T-shirt or with that bumper sticker on his car, engage him thoroughly by explaining how you are a Third Amendment voter and you take it very seriously. Argue loudly that we are only one returning vet moving into his mom’s basement away from a full slippery slope toward forced-soldier-quartering Armageddon. Also explain that you are fully committing to passing the “Titles of Nobility Amendment,” that has languished for far too long.
When the live pollster calls asking for “Debbie,” Ask “What Would Danny DeVito Do?”
If you have a toddler or a cat, relinquish the phone when the robo-caller calls for data. I have enjoyed seeing how my junk mail changes after the Midget dealt with the last four or five of these things. I’m sure it confounds my mail lady to see that I’m getting offers for AARP, Weight Watchers and mail order sex toys services. (If you lack children or pets, just try playing “Carol of the Bells” or something with the phone button tones. It works just as well.)
Make up yard signs that attack a fictional candidate for something. Offer to provide them to your neighbors in an attempt to “defeat this extreme, radical extremist, who is way too extreme for even the extreme people we already have.” See how many takers you have.
Set out on a last-minute, vociferous push to re-elect your local coroner. If the race is uncontested, push even harder because, “You never know!” (Or just watch this ad and shudder.)
If you get to talk to a representative of a candidate for the U.S. House or Senate, ask how seriously committed that person is to getting the Corwin Amendment passed. Better yet, ask that of the candidate him or herself. It’s about 100-1 odds that they won’t know what it is, but won’t ask what it is. If you make it seem important to you, they’ll let you know it’s really important to them. Because that’s what we really want in politicians, you know. That and the sense that you could have a beer with them…
If a candidate knocks on your door, open it slowly and then breathe a sigh of relief. Yell back into the house, “HONEY! Stop burning all the kiddie porn and meth! It’s just some politician…”
When dealing with pollsters or advocates or candidates who want to form a bond by using your name, make up a name that is horribly uncomfortable for them: “Hi I’m Fahquin Diqfase.”
Buy a bull horn and an inflatable princess castle. Place the castle on your lawn and wait inside of it for the campaign volunteers to approach your door. The minute their foot hits your property, jump out of your princess castle start screaming through the bull horn, “CASTLE DOCTRINE! CASTLE DOCTRINE!”
Ask if the candidate is "in full effect” or not. Tell everyone that is the most important voting issue. Also request that the candidate rap his or her next speech and offer all future bills in the form of haikus.
When a pollster calls you and asks if you know for whom you are voting in the presidential election, ask “So who’s running?” After he or she tells you, pause and say, “Hang on. I gotta find a quarter to flip.”
Remember, my friends, as Daniel Day Lewis said, “Stay alive. No matter what occurs, I will find you.”
See you next week.
A guest post from a good New Yorker friend of mine, Sexy Feminist co-founder Jennifer Keishin Armstrong. I asked Jennifer to give me a picture of what was happening in her neck of the woods post-storm, about who was okay and who wasn't and what's happening right now.
By Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
It turns out that if you aren’t in absolute immediate horrible danger during a hurricane (as many people were, and that is unimaginable) … if you get through a hurricane having experienced just a power outage and a lot of howling winds from the relative privilege of your sixth-floor apartment in an all-brick building … then, the worst can still be yet to come. My boyfriend, Jesse, and I had a romantic evening the night Hurricane Sandy hit, shrugging as the second episode ofLouie we’d cued up on Apple TV cut out along with our electricity. We had candles and flashlights ready, so we just switched over to cuddling on the sofa and reading Jonathan Franzen (me) and David Sedaris (him). We went to sleep early. What else did we have to do?
The next morning, we felt lucky, like we’d survived a hurricane, and relatively unscathed. (We were not impressed with Hurricane Irene last year — we prepared for days and ended up feeling almost nothing. We made chocolate fondue with a candle fondue set, even though we hadn’t lost power, just because we’d bothered to get a candle fondue set.) We headed out in the frigid rain that continued in the aftermath, just to see what was going on. We’d been out of the news loop for 12 hours. As we walked, it started to dawn on us that life was not to continue on as usual. Lines snaked outside darkened bodegas, the shop owners letting people in two at a time to prevent looting. We grabbed bread and batteries and coffee and beer. (You see our priorities.) We decided to walk north as it became clear that our part of the city — 14th Street and Avenue B, just above the East Village and the Lower East Side, a block from that exploding power plant that was all over the Internet — was without power and ostensibly shut down. (Aside from the bodegas.)
As we headed into the wind up First Avenue, Jesse lost his favorite baseball cap in a puddle. Both of our glasses misted with rain. I voiced my desire to turn around and go home — what were we expecting to get out of this? Still, we soldiered on with others from our neighborhood, people in sweats and pajamas heading north, trying to get their cell phones to function. Texts were intermittent, internet and phone capabilities down. I got a text from a friend who lives near us: “There is power north of 40th.” This kept us going. Sure enough, at 41st Street, a wine store, totally civilized, running, credit card machine functional, power outlets to spare. We bought three bottles of red wine and kept going. I don’t even know what we thought we’d find, or what we wanted. We were just so happy to see regular civilization. As others crossed 40th, you saw it over and over: “Oh my God, you guys! That place is open!” We went up a few more blocks and wandered into a Hallmark store for candles. It took a while to find unscented ones, but we got about a half dozen. Then I noticed a whole power strip in a back corner, most of its outlets brazenly open and available. We plugged our phones in for a half-hour or so while we read horribly un-clever cards and thanked god we’d never buy “bachelorette party favors.” As we left and paid for the candles, we found another godsend: a solar-powered flashlight.
We felt invigorated, ready to face this thing. We would spend the evening reading by candlelight, drinking wine! It would be relaxing, like a vacation! But when we finally returned home, tired from our 60-block round trip, another discovery: Our water service had disappeared. Apparently water needs electricity to travel upstairs. There was no hope of it returning, except perhaps intermittently with the use of tiny emergency generators.
We called Jesse’s mom in Pennsylvania, but she’d also lost power, and it would have been hard for us to get there anyway. We kept texting friends in the area to see who had what resources, but it was hard: Every text had to be sent three or four times before it went through. Finally, a miracle: Jesse’s friend Chris, who lived just over the bridge in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, had electricity, warm water, and wifi. I almost sobbed at how wonderful that suddenly sounded. We ravaged our apartment for maps to figure out how to walk there — hmm, yeah, we didn’t have those anymore. Chris managed to text us Google maps walking directions. We set out on the 3.5-mile trek, dragging our rolling suitcases in the opposite direction from where we’d gone that morning.
Here was the real dire situation. By just 3 p.m. the day after Sandy, things looked bleak throughout the East Village and Lower East Side. Awnings were toppled, a few windows were broken. Everything was dark and closed. Stoplights, of course, weren’t functioning. Bodega shelves were emptied.
When we finally crossed the Williamsburg Bridge, we entered another dimension, one even better from what was going on north of 40th Street: We were shocked to find people drinking in bars, restaurants preparing for the dinner rush, hipster vintage clothing boutiques up and running. One place was seriously selling home accessories, as if that might be what someone wanted to pick up that day. And someone did. Shoppers were inside. We joked about being offended that this could go on so normally. But it was soothing. We could see lines being drawn already: The Haves in Brooklyn and North of 40; the Have-Nots in Lower Manhattan.
We’re still at Chris’ place two days later, bless his heart. He even gave us his bed and slept in his living room. He has warm water that comes out of the faucet any time you want. He has internet, clearly. We’ve been enjoying pretending to live in Williamsburg, which, if you don’t know, is the hipster capital of the universe. We hit the local American Apparel for underwear, socks, and T-shirts to get us through a few more days. I hit an overwhelmingly packed yoga class full of gorgeous, skinny people with oversized glasses and aggressively cool haircuts. We’re obsessing over the news. I loved seeing Chris Christie defending Obama and sticking it to Fox News. Hell, I just loved seeing Chris Christie, windblown and wearing his custom “Chris Christie, Governor” fleece.
Things are still really shitty back home in our complex; we live in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, where 20,000 people are now heading into their third day of trying to survive with no power or water. (If you want to see some serious drama, check out the management’s Facebook page right now.) We’re going back there tomorrow to check on things, and ConEd swears the whole city will be powered by Saturday. Suddenly, in a city where people are now rationing bread, waiting in hours-long lines for buses, and flashing cash on the street to get cabbies to stop, that feels unthinkably, uncomfortably luxurious.
We’re hoping for the best, and we know how lucky we are.
I've never cared for Michael Bloomberg. Arrogant plutocratic billionaires aren't my cup of tea. But I've never spent much time thinking about him. That has changed. Not because of his endorsement of the Prez, but because of his preposterously arrogant and hubristic (izzat a word?) plan to hold the New York Marathon as scheduled this weekend.That's why Mayor Billionaire Media Mogul is malaka of the week.
Lemme see: half of Manhattan doesn't have power, they're still finding dead bodies in Staten Island and Mayor Malaka is determined to tie up police resources with a marathon? Methinks his priorities are a trifle skewed. I recall all the brickbats when we in NOLA went on with Mardi Gras in 2006, which was months after Katrina and the Federal Flood (see, Harry, we do call it that here at First Draft.) The Marathon isn't even a full week after the Frankenstorm obliged Bloomberg to trot out his horrendous Spanish for public consumption. I almost called it high school Spanish but it isn't that good. I do, however, dig his ASL translator, she can bust some moves, y'all.
My friend Gambit editor, Kevin Allman, has been on the Bloomberg beat this week as well as beating Bloomberg down. I don't usually post quotes this long but I cannot top this:
Remember 48 hours after Katrina struck and the levees collapsed, when people were still trapped in buildings and the number of dead was still unknown? When the electricity was still out, hospitals were closed and essential services were stretched beyond the breaking point?
Now imagine if New Orleans had a marathon planned for the following weekend after Hurricane Katrina — and Ray Nagin insisted that, despite the state of emergency, tens of thousands of runners hit the streets.
Because that's what's happening in New York right now:"I think some people said you shouldn't run the marathon," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news briefing Wednesday. "There's an awful lot of small businesses that depend on these people. We have to have an economy. There's lots of people that have come here. It's a great event for New York, and I think for those who were lost, you've got to believe they would want us to have an economy and have a city go on for those that they left behind."
OK. Now just imagine the cable-news and talk-radio reaction — even a fraction of the reaction — had Nagin suggested New Orleans hold a marathon six days after Katrina, and that running it was somehow a tribute to those who had perished.This is the same Bloomberg who, on Saturday, turned down President Barack Obama and FEMA's offer of help: "President Obama asked Craig Fugate from FEMA to call me earlier in the day and offer any help. I assured him that we had, we think, everything under control but we appreciate the effort. What FEMA really can do is to help those parts of the country that don't have all of the extensive facilities and agencies and practice that New York City does. But I did want to thank them for their offer." (He later reversed himself, saying FEMA had been "spectacularly helpful" so far.)
Yesterday Bloomberg turned down a visit from Obama, saying, "“What I pointed out to them is we would love to have him, but we have lots of things to do."
Perhaps understandable — a presidential visit to a disaster area can create a lot of distraction and chaos.
But a marathon is OK.
Christine Brennan of USA Today says it better than I can:"New York's leaders are shockingly, unbelievably, moving ahead with one of the most logistically challenging sporting events in the world.
This is just what a city reeling from a once-in-a-lifetime storm doesn't need: a massive road race crossing through five boroughs that usually attracts 47,000 runners and 2 million spectators and requires 8,000 volunteers, 1,000 staff members and hundreds of police and other city workers and services. It's an unnecessary distraction coming at the worst time for the city and the region."
I'm not going to defend Ray Nagin's decisions after the storm. But I don't think there is language scathing enough to express what would have been said had Nagin spurned FEMA's help right before Katrina struck — and then forged ahead with a plan to hold a marathon within the week.
So what's the difference?
The only problem with Kevin's post is that he didn't use the M word to describe Bloomberg and we all know how that's spelled: m-a-l-a-k-a. Uh oh, I seem to be having a Mickey Mouse Club flashback.
This whole episode is yet another illustration of how stratified our allegedly classless society really is. Working class folks in Staten Island are on their knees but Mayor Money Bags insists on going through with an event that makes absolutely no sense at this particular time and place. Let them eat Nikes.
Bloomberg is actually making Chris Fucking Christie look good. And if that ain't malakatude, I don't know what is.
I'm not sure what Todd Rundgren thinks of all this but I'll give him the last word. The only thing Mayor Malaka can't stop running is his mouth:
I'm not counting animatronic Lincoln or the Nixon head from Futurama.
Something about the sheer phoniness, the empty and ham-fisted photo op...and then it hit me -- this is straight from the Karl Rove playbook (for a while Rove actually ran federal hurricane relief efforts, which was a disaster in itself).
One difference, though, even as the aerial shots of flooded homes was eerily familiar: Bush didn't deliver his empty promises until almost three weeks after the flood. Geez.
Not that I'd ever think a genuine deity would deliberately kill, maim, or or otherwise harm thousands of innocent people just to 'send a message,' but two things -- one, the message could be, as much as anything, that global warming deniers are morons...and two, do we really want to return to the days of Heckuva Job?
In my ongoing quest to get disinvited from all future family reunions, I've started responding to moronic things that relations post on line. If you know anything about my family, you're probably thinking that I'll need to take a sabbatical from work for a while if this hobby is going to continue.
Today's idiocy comes from a first cousin, with a special guest appearance from my older brother (they are anonymized in red and yellow, respectively. Behold!
Please don't egg my house; my neighbors are the ones who never give out treats:
If you're like me, you're mainlining Nate Silver's awesome 538 blog. Nate has applied the principles of baseball Sabermetrics to polling data. Thing continue to look pretty good for the Dems and not so good for the serial liar Willard Rmoney. I've been doing this particular update on Facebook but decided to share with y'all:
Only a 22.6% chance of electing our first robot President.
Several others again asked Romney whether he would eliminate FEMA.
“Governor, you’ve been asked 14 times. Why are you refusing to answer the question?” one asked.
Romney ignored the reporters’ queries and continued loading up the truck. Earlier, during the event, he ignored similar queries.
During a 2011 primary debate, Romney supported the idea of curtailing federal disaster response and letting states and the private sector take on a bigger role.
“Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction,” he said. “And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.”
Bye, Mitt Romney. See ya. Buh bye.
Exit stage right now, and take Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and all the other clowns who came spilling out of the Volkswagon Beetle with you.
Take your WE BUILT IT convention, and your little teabag cotillions, and your howling about taxes, too.
Take your fear, and your rage, and your insistence that you earned yours and everybody else is stealing something. Take your list of all the things we cannot do, and all the qualities we cannot have, and all the places we cannot go.
Take the idea that we're alone.
Take the idea that any of us deserve even for a second to be hurt.
Take the conceit that all of us together can't do anything we choose to do, and get the fuck out of town.
I take very little satisfaction saying that, by the way. In the first place, it shouldn't have taken the flooding of the Eastern seaboard to show us all that Mitt Romney was a fool and a douchebag. In the second place, that Mitt Romney now, more than ever, looks catastrophically unsuited to high political office does not ever make it okay that there was a second we considered him seriously for such office at all.
The polls may bear this out, they may not. But the fact of the matter is we're done now, and so off you toddle, Mitt, back to your world, while the people whose lives have been ruined by the storm rebuild their own, with the help of everybody around them.
Or as we like to call it, government.
It's Easter Sunday, 1923. It's a day for family gatherings, which can be weirder than hell. Since we're talking Boardwalk Empire, they, quite naturally, veer off in odd and unexpected directions. Sort of like Easters in my family. Of course, it was all very Greeky Greek complete with the egg crushing Christos anesti thing and roast leg of lamb. But I digress; anyone surprised by that? I thought not.
Okey dokey. On to this week's rantings, ravings, and other R words to be named later.
Thompson Family Values: The episode opens with Eli skulking about his yard in his bathrobe. He's hiding something: booze; cash; a gat? What the hell is it? Easter eggs, that's what. It's time for the annual Thompson egg hunt and if you find the red one you get a whole quarter. Golly, Wally. I would have thought that Eli's family would have its own softball team since he has 444 kids.
Nucky, Margaret, Emily, and Pyro-boy come for the day in-what else?-their Sunday Best, which is-you guessed it-the episode title. It's the first time that the Eli Thompsons have met Margaret and her brood. Not a big surprise since Eli just got sprung from the pokey after betraying the Nuckster. Despite that unpromising start, things go pretty darn well. Eli's wife, June, flatters Nucky and Margaret into submission. The latter, in fact, blurts out to June that Nucky has nookie on the side. It's the first time we've seen Margaret open up to anyone but IRA Man Owen and, well, never mind…
The Thompson brothers finally bury the hatchet. Eli grovels, Nucky rants, and they kinda sorta kiss and make up since Nucky needs someone/anyone with half a brain in his criminal enterprise. And Eli qualifies...
Nucky and Margaret, however, do NOT bury the hatchet. She's amused to learn that he can juggle and tell a few jokes; and he's amused to learn that she can sing the old Irish ditty I'll Tell Me Ma. He again tentatively reaches out to her and she goes all Carole King on him and sings "It's Too Late." Not really but it *is* what she says…
Hey there, good people. I know it's been a while since I've been by here, but, you know, life keeps us busy. Until we get a sick day! Then it's time to catch up on all the crazy you've seen for a while, and maybe--just maybe--to write a thing or two about it. First of all, here's hoping the effects of Hurricane Sandy won't be as bad as advertised, and that those people without power and water get those services reconnected pronto. Now--on to the adventure.
I begin, as many such stories of crazy do, with my family. Specifically, one of my first cousins. She's a full-on Vatican fetus-sniffer. She's always posting crazy anti-choice shit with the oh-so-clever tag "RESPECT LIFE." Then it's a link to "GodVine" or "LifeNews" or some other completely reputable source about, oh, aborted fetuses being burned in a regular incinerator at a hospital as opposed to a crematorium at a funeral facility. As if that makes half a fuck's worth of difference. I mean, they're not alive, right? Who give a shit what you do with the remains? I know some people are more sensitive about corpses than I am, but it's not like they're turning them into cat food--they're doing the exact same thing, just in an incinerator that at other times burns trash. Well, I don't begin to understand the mind of the religious fanatic. In fact, to show all you good people exactly what I mean, let's go to a screencap, shall we?
Somehow, I resisted the urge to post anything in reply--anything like, say, "Romans 3:23" or "Matthew 7:1." I also managed not to call her an astonishingly arrogant asshole for presuming to be the arbiter of who is and is not a "serious" Catholic. Does that mean you can't ever tell a joke about god? What about if you go to a Catholic school or university, and there's a cafeteria there? Do you get to go in? Or do you have to subsist on that little cracker they gave you in the chapel? While that would do a lot for obesity in this country, I'm not sure that'd be okay with Jesus--I mean, after all, "Man shall not live by bread alone," right? Anyway, I didn't comment, because getting in a theological discussion with a zealot is a lot like pissing up a rope, but you don't get to get the relief of emptying your bladder.
A further word about this cousin: this is a person who unfailingly supports the Republican Party. While one may find one's own reasons for doing so, one can't back a party that is disdainful of the poor, supports the death penalty, works to increase income inequality, and relentlessly warmongers and then call oneself a "serious" Catholic who agrees with all of Holy Mother Church's teachings. What you have here is just garden-variety hypocrisy.
So, I passed that one by, but this is getting a little long, so why not have a jump? Trust me, people--you will want to hit that link.
I don't usually go in for even a semi-poetic tone but the images of NYC and Atlantic City have got me thinking about our little thing here in NOLA 7 years ago. 7 years? It was really another lifetime but whenever there's a big disaster-especially in a place I've spent time in like Manhattan-my stomach gets knotted and my expression gets grim.
There's always an adrenaline rush before and during a massive system like Sandy. The next day comes the hangover, when the scope and extent of the damage is clear. This is a particularly strange event since it started as a tropical system and then morphed into a blizzardy, wintery mess. I don't envy folks who are digging out from this system having to deal with cold weather. Sarcasm alert: Climate change obviously does not exist.
There seems to be an immutable rule that the worst parts of a storm system come in after sunset in order to be even scarier. Another immutable rule is that some teevee journos will do and say stupid things. Southern Beale has a few scathing words about that over at her joint.
Speaking of stupid things said on teevee. It is *not* better to lose power when it's hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk than when it's cold. It's just different. As someone who lost power for 5 days after Isaac, I know that from personal experience. Either sucks the big one and there's not a whole helluva lot you can do about it but be patient until you're not.
Athenae has posted a bit about the politics of the Frankenstorm but I'll chime in too. I usually cannot stand Joisey Governor Chris (STFU, I'm the Gov) Christie but he has called Obama's response thus far "outstanding."
Thanks, Governor; good way of hedging your bets and looking towards 2016 if Willard goes down. Of course, it helps when the Prez appoints the most qualified person in the country, Craig Fugate, as FEMA director. One final thing about Christie: lose the shirt with Chris Christie, Governor stitched on it. It looks like a maternal camp name tag or something. You don't wanna look like Edward Norton in Moonrise Kingdom, after all.
Willard is already circling around how to pretend he hasn't called for FEMA's functions to be returned to the states or, better still, in his view, to a private company. Bad idea. We saw enough FEMA crony capitalism in post-Katrina New Orleans to last a life time.
I assume that Mittbot's plan is to lie, deny and later vilify his way out of the corner he painted himself into. It's what he does. At the risk of sounding like a religious bigot, it's classic male LDS behavior. When Joseph Smith got caught with his pantaloons down, he had a revelation from God that plural marriage rocked. In the 1970's when the Mormon church was under fire for its racist policies, then President Spencer Kimball had a revelation from God that they should change that. It's a form of self-righteous denial that has served Willard well. It's the main reason why he seems to *believe* his whoppers. Politico just believes them because they're biased and want the drama of a close election. There's enough drama without that right now, y'all.
Enough nattering from me for now. I hope all my Northeast peeps are high and dry. Just gird yourself for a long, slow process and be thankful that the infra-structure in Joisey and Noo Yawk is better than that in NOLA. I somehow doubt that we'll be able to comply with Springsteen's request to "meet me tonight in Atlantic City."
Mr. Romney not only believes that states acting independently can handle the response to a vast East Coast storm better than Washington, but that profit-making companies can do an even better job. He said it was “immoral” for the federal government to do all these things if it means increasing the debt.
It’s an absurd notion, but it’s fully in line with decades of Republican resistance to federal emergency planning. FEMA, created by President Jimmy Carter, was elevated to cabinet rank in the Bill Clinton administration, but was then demoted by President George W. Bush, who neglected it, subsumed it into the Department of Homeland Security, and placed it in the control of political hacks. The disaster of Hurricane Katrina was just waiting to happen.
The agency was put back in working order by President Obama, but ideology still blinds Republicans to its value. Many don’t like the idea of free aid for poor people, or they think people should pay for their bad decisions, which this week includes living on the East Coast.
Over the last two years, Congressional Republicans have forced a 43 percent reduction in the primary FEMA grants that pay for disaster preparedness. Representatives Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and other House Republicans have repeatedly tried to refuse FEMA’s budget requests when disasters are more expensive than predicted, or have demanded that other valuable programs be cut to pay for them. The Ryan budget, which Mr. Romney praised as “an excellent piece of work,” would result in severe cutbacks to the agency, as would the Republican-instigated sequester, which would cut disaster relief by 8.2 percent on top of earlier reductions.
You know what? Fuck this. People should pay for their bad decisions? Okay. And THEN WHAT? God Almighty, then what? Then they'll have paid, and there will still be flood water over everything, and people will be broke and homeless, but hey, at least we can go to sleep at night knowing somebody's paid ... how? What is the practical benefit to anybody of saying to someone who's been fucked over by nature or life too bad, so sad, I'mma take the ten bucks we would have spent on that and throw it at Starbucks?
I do not GET THIS. I don't. What the TITS. When a disaster strikes I want big government, small government, medium-sized government. I want all the government ever. I want the neighbors and the charities and the churches and the families and the friends, too. Every crack in the plaster needs to be patched and every problem needs to be solved, and I want as many people putting that puzzle together as possible. All hands on the fucking deck. Here's a bucket. Start bailing the water out.
I want everybody to be figuring out how to do more, instead of fighting over the best way to do less without looking like too much of an asshole about it.
And you know, I think the majority of Americans want this, too. It's just that for the past 40 years we've had this constant drumbeat of no we can't, it's too hard, we can't afford it, everybody fends for themselves, there's no help for anybody, let's all just go home and if you have to step over a homeless dude to get to your car then do it because that's the price of doing business. People deserve to have their homes submerged and their shops wiped out and their lives ruined because of where they live or what they do or who they are, and there's nothing anybody can do about it, because only government is big enough to solve this problem and we all know government isn't the answer to anything anymore.
But deep down we've still got that nagging feeling that somebody somewhere ought to be on top of shit, that most of the time people don't deserve what they get (and thank God for that, by the way, she says while conducting the express train to hell), that we are better and bigger and stronger than this, and we're just straining against the goddamn harness to do something. And disaster preparedness and emergency management are some of the most basic things government can do to prevent us from tearing ourselves apart when something shitty happens, to take that instinct and direct it outward instead of inward.
To make us help, rather than letting us hurt.
Witnessning the unraveling of the city, those of Harry Penn's reporters who were not killed (as many of them were) returned to The Sun to write about it. They sensed that this was the proper thing to do, even if everything else had gone to hell, because they knew enough to know that whenever the world ends it always manages to begin again, and they had no intention of being left out.
— Winter's Tale, Mark Helprin
The New York Daily News is updating from a darkened newsroom. There are floodwaters in the subway tunnels and hospitals are without power. Various jackasses are making various kinds of jackassed remarks for which it is not only too soon, but will never not be too soon. And as always, there are acts of extraordinary bravery happening amidst the chaos.
Remember tonight that there is no part of America that America can live without. Donate to the Red Cross for disaster relief here.
Nature is currently trying to kick the shit out of an entire half of the country, and it's time for the big question:
1) Will Mitt Romney’s momentum be stopped?
It’s hard to see how the storm helps. The Republican nominee has more than closed the gap with the incumbent over the final weeks of the campaign, taking a slim lead in most national polls. But his national boost hasn’t been mirrored in two pivotal states: Ohio and Virginia. Already Romney had to scrap a full day’s worth of events in Virginia Sunday.
Obama has had to change his schedule, too, but he’s not the one trying to make up ground.
And even though there are multiple schools of thought on how Sandy could affect voters’ feelings about the candidates or the nuts and bolts of getting folks to turn out, it’s still hard to see how the storm could help Romney. That is, unless the government botches the response and voters blame Obama.
Let's be clear about this: If government botches the response, voters should blame Obama. Also, please kill me quickly. It's hard to see how the storm would help Romney? That's because THE STORM ISN'T ABOUT ROMNEY. It's about how lots of people are getting their asses kicked and New York is going full zombie apocalypse and we have long lists of folks who are basically being reduced to Little House on the Prairie-style living for who knows how the fuck long. But hey, don't let's let that interfere with your need to make everything about OMFG HORSE RACE!
Speaking of which:
2) Does Obama have a natural advantage because he’s president?
It is so rude of Hurricane Sandy to make Obama look good by being in a particular chair at this particular time. So unfair to Republicans.
The short answer: yes. The longer answer: not if he makes an unforced error. While George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina ranks among the worst blunders in modern presidential history, it has also ensured that no president or candidate will under-react to the threat of a devastating natural disaster.
SO IT WAS A WIN, AFTER ALL. That Politico, always finding a silver lining in some dead people. I bet they're super-glad they're dead if it gave politicians the wake-up call they needed to realize that making sure people stay alive is the number-one job of fucking government.
5) Does this throw a wrench into Obama’s vaunted ground game?
Well, that clears that up. I'm so pleased we have learned political authority figures to tell us what we need to know.
You know whose "vaunted ground game" this storm throws a wrench into? (How does one exactly throw a wrench into a game? I mean, do you just fling it out on the basketball court or ...) The entirety of Atlantic City:
It's like nothing exists except as holograms in the goddamn TV studio. What's really fucking depressing? The most grown-up person in this entire story is Mitt Fucking Romney:
“Governor Romney’s concern is the safety and well-being of those in the path of this storm, not political considerations,” said Andrea Saul.
Silly Andrea. That's not how you WIN THE MORNING AND THE AFTERNOON.
I hope our East Coast peeps are safe and can still see this. Keep on hunkering, y'all:
It is improbable that the framers of the Constitution anticipated a situation in which the press were entirely given over to seditious, anti-American policies. If they had, it is likely that their modus operandi would be similar to that for any faction found guilty of high crimes. Trials for treason and the requisite sentences would apply, and I would have no qualms about seeing such sentences executed, no matter how severe.
CPJ research shows that this year alone, five journalists have been targeted and killed for their work in Pakistan--three of them in Baluchistan. More than a dozen journalists have been killed in the province since 2008. Local groups tend to put the numbers of journalists killed higher, but because of the political turmoil it is often impossible to discern the reason for an attack as many journalists straddle the line between political activism and reporting.
Just last month, Baloch, also a longtime local correspondent for ARY Television, was shot by unidentified assailants. Hamid Mir, a prominent Pakistani journalist, wrote after Haq's death that the journalist had been threatened by the state-sponsored Baloch Musalah Diffa Army in November 2011 and had subsequently been named on a hit list issued by its spokesman.
I've watched with disgust as journalists laugh off verbal attacks on their trade from wingnut critics who can't handle facts, as if violent rhetoric never leads to violent acts. I've watched as news bosses cozied up to people who denigrated their employees and devalued their work. And every time some angry right-wing crowd turns on a reporter, or a crew member, or an editor, I wonder when it will finally get to be too much, the "lamestream media" and the "rope, tree, journalist" and the dark muttering about treason.
I know I talk a lot about what we do wrong, in the news business. I talk a lot about all the awful things that are done (and not done) but never for one minute do I think good journalism is unimportant or passé or no longer necessary. Why rage against the dying of the light if you hate the sun? Why bother criticizing something unless you want to make it better? I despair at the failures of our national press corps in no small part because i know how critical its function was once and could be again.
And I know about other places, where "jokes" about executing reporters aren't funny, they're THURSDAY, and the men and women who get up every day and go out and try to tell the world what the hell is going on around them despite the very real possibility they might end up dead for it deserve better.
All righty, good people - Kibitzer said on last Monday's obsession that he was going to cruise over to Freeperville to see how the site held up during the final Presedential debate - heh - as if Jim Rob and company were going to let a disastrous repeat (in the middle of a Freepathon, no less) of the near-total failure of the $352,000.00 / year website occur.
I find such cynical aspersions unfounded and completely ungrounded in reality, so let's go see what improvements have been made!
Final debate LIVE THREAD CSPAN ^ | 10/22/12 | GeorgiaDawg32
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 4:44:46 PM by GeorgiaDawg32
Available to watch on any news channel. 9 p.m. Eastern time.
Yes it's early but NCIS is a rerun.
In before the crash!!
Prayers up for Romney!3 posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 4:46:40 PM by RandallFlagg ("Liberalism is about as progressive as CANCER" -Alfonzo Rachel)..
I figure I better get a post in now before it all
goes to hell.
am I the only one that can’t get through during these debates?
“In before the crash!!”
3 hours prior to debate time and it already took me 3 tries and 5 min to get a reply entry box....
Yeah, see you at 3AM when things go back to normal.
GO GO FR HAMSTER TEAM GO!
To: GeorgiaDawg32From a "related" thread discussing the last R/O debate:
The system is not handling the increased loads and we do not know why yet. John says the system is not getting overloaded, the db is not overloaded, the cpus are mostly idle, the load averages are low, the db load averages are low, just reaches a point where throughput stalls. I’m not a techie and I have no idea how to fix it. I thought maybe we could add another server or more RAM or replace some older servers or something, but I guess John doesn’t think that will do it. There’s something wrong in the system software or the configuration but he’s having trouble finding it.
And I’m really upset too, but there’s not a freaking thing I can do about it until John gets it figured out.
63 posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 2:01:19 PM by Jim Robinson (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God!!) [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies | Report Abuse]
And in related news, fuck you.
I can’t stand that I can’t get on during anything at all important. It stinks! Election night ought to be another disaster... I’ve always relied on FR for election night, but sure won’t count on it this year.
To: Responsibility2nd"as there are Donald Trump's Big Announcement threads?" I read it will be on Wednesday and he seems particularly delighted to have something great.
I read he was going to drop it during the Republican Convention but he got cut with some others because the storm forced convention to delay by one day, so some got cut because of time restraints.
102 posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 6:15:06 PM by hummingbird (Lather, Rinse........BUT DO NOT REPEAT - REPEAT IS A WASTE - A SCAM!)..
“Hot Air, they have a live thread!”
Yup, that’s where I was last time and that’s where I’ll be tonight! See you there!84 posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 6:00:28 PM by Batman11 (We came for the chicken sandwiches and a Sweet Tea Party broke out!)..
I just got my first “Oops” message from Chrome. FR is going down for the count. Off to Lucianne I guess...
To: RedMDer; John Robinson; Jim Robinson
$2 / day donor praying for John to sort this out. Put an ACE front on Adobe. It isn’t the database, it isn’t the server, it’s the front end. I’m just a 30 year systems analyst throwing out anything that might right the ship.
Load balance? Connection pool (kill unused sessions?) Seek help. We are Free Republic, and have amazing resources. Use them!
To: Alas Babylon!
and I’m donating monthly for what?235 posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 7:41:35 PM by estrogen (sick of the racist rants from the left)..
To: estrogenand I’m donating monthly for what?
So that you can feel good about the aggravation!251 posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 7:46:00 PM by Bushbacker1 (I miss President Bush! 2012 - The End Of An Error! (Oathkeeper))..
To: penelopesireAnn Romney looks very nice tonight. It sure will be nice to have a classy first lady again.
I haven't spotted her yet, either. I've mistakenly watched FoxNews!
Yes, it will be lovely to have a classy First Lady, instead of the racist, angry _itch!
HERE WE GO!!!
PRAYERS FOR MITT ROMNEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My San Francisco Giants have a boatload of charming eccentrics playing for them. These goofballs have just swept the Detroit Tigers and won the World Series. Again.
I'm taking credit for the 4 game sweep. I helped clean the sub-Krewe of Spank's space at the Den of Muses on Saturday. I wielded a push broom...
Hmm, maybe I'm one of the goofballs; a scary thought indeed.
If you haven't seen Argo yet, go today, it's terrific even if the ending is Hollywoodized. In the flick, John Goodman plays real life makeup artist John Chambers. This episode of Hollywood Treasure (a show featuring movie collectible dealer and auctioneer Joe Maddalena) shows what happened to some of Chambers' finest work. I only hope his heir isn't kicking himself for not waiting to go to auction until after Argo's release.